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MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

z^j National   expansion

I**"         unification, peace, prosperity

T                cultural   development

ii
*-------Ming------------j?J-----CRing---------

Modern Cycle
(1368 to the present)

losing its control over the feudal lords, giving us the CKuncKiu
Period of Confucius' Annals (722-481 B.C.) and the later
Chankuo Period or the Period of the "Warring Kingdoms"
(402-221 B.C.) with Ch'u constantly extending its territory
to virtually the whole southern part of the then civilized
China. The cycle was then closed with the conquest and
reunification of the whole of China by a tribe with a strong
mixture of barbarian blood and foreign customs, led by the
great Ch'in Emperor.

Facts like these call for an explanation, ethnological,
economic or climatic. Over-population, which in its nature
can be regularly reached in four or five hundred years of peace,
seems to be an important factor. Peace and culture in any
country in the world for over five hundred years are unknown
to history, and there is no reason 'why China should be an
exception. Yet the review of China's literary history seems to
offer another obvious explanation. There was a decadence of
moral fibre reflected in poetry and literature during these
periods of northern and southern secession and rivalry, as
already seen in the poems quoted above in this chapter. The
period of northern invasion in the first cycle, the so-called